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May Chapter Meeting-You can handle the truth: Military culture and the case for hiring veterans
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May Chapter Meeting- You can handle the truth: Military culture and the case for hiring veterans

When: Thursday, May 23rd
11:00am - 1:00pm
Where: RTP Foundation
12 Davis Drive
RTP, North Carolina  27713
United States
Contact: TSHRM Secretary

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 20 million American men and women are veterans, accounting for about 8% of the adult civilian population. However, less than half of these veterans are employed in the civilian labor force. Veterans share a unique set of skills and experiences that could bring value to an organization and contribute to its success.


Although many companies are unaware of this untapped talent pool, others struggle to maintain their military hires or adequately acclimate them to the workplace. This panel discussion brings together experts on military transition, culture, hiring, and retention to explore key truths about veterans in the workplace.


Join us and discover:

·       Why veterans are in a good position to help your organization move forward

·       Ways to encourage a veteran-friendly culture at work

·       Lessons learned from other organizations who have hired and lost veteran employees

·       Strategies for supporting and helping acclimate veterans in their transition

·       Community resources available to companies regarding veteran hiring


Panel of Speakers:


Randy Baker, Orion Talent

Randy is a military spouse that has over 8 years of experience in supporting military families through non-profit programs and corporate experience. As the daughter of a former United States Marine, sister of a United States Navy Commander, and wife of a former Royal Marine turned Soldier in the United States Army, taking care of service members, veterans, and their family members is a cause close to her heart.


After attending the University of South Carolina, Randy took an assignment with the USO and served over two years in Kuwait and Afghanistan, and then spent three years in England and supported the UK Forces through her development work with the Royal British Legion. Randy also served as the Warrior and Family Programs Manager for the USO of NC and then as the Site Manager for the Pathfinder Program, where she specialized in ensuring a smooth transition for service members finishing their military service.  Currently, Randy is serving as an Account Executive for Orion Talent – the nation’s oldest and most recognized military talent recruitment firm, working with businesses across the Southeastern US to create gainful job opportunities for transitioning service members and veterans.


Paul Berry, USO of NC/NCServes Central Carolina

Paul Berry retired in 2016 from the United States Marine Corps as a Sergeant Major after 30 years of service. He has vast experience working with organizations that support our active duty, guard, reserve, and veterans. Paul has had many overseas deployments including Somalia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He also served three years as the Senior Enlisted Advisor to all of the Marine Corps Recruiters in North Carolina. His primary mission while in uniform was to take care of military personnel and their family members while deployed and upon their return.


After retiring from the Marine Corps, Paul and his wife moved to Raleigh, NC to be closer to family.  It was of paramount importance for him to continue taking care of service members, and he officially joined the Warrior and Family Programs team as the NCServes Network Director and Programs Manager in October of 2017.


Eric Burgos, NC National Guard Employment and Education Center

Eric currently serves as the Director of the North Carolina National Guard Employment Center. This program assists all Reserve Component personnel and their families with their employment needs and civilian job training opportunities in North Carolina. To date, the Employment Center has assisted 2,500 people with gaining employment across North Carolina, creating nearly a $100 million impact in the veteran communities across the state.


Eric’s primary role is to lead employment counselors in building ongoing relationships with local and national employers to assist in job placement and training program development. A veteran himself, Eric has over 21 years of combined enlisted service: 8 years with the United States Navy and 13 years with the North Carolina Army National Guard.


James Simpson, Pike Electric

James served as a Marine for 24 years (1987-2012).  His roles included: Supply Chain Manager, Recruiter, Instructor, and Logistics Analyst. After the military, James was a Personal and Professional Development Advisor for military personnel completing their service and returning to the workforce. He managed the program: North Carolina for Military Employment (NC4ME), and in April of 2018, joined Pike Enterprises as the Manager of Military Talent Acquisition. He strives to connect transitioning active duty service members, military spouses, and veterans to Pike’s expanding roles. James is a graduate of Webster University with an MA in Human Resource Management.


Kimberly Williams, NC4ME

Kimberly has more than thirty years of experience leading HR professionals in the private sector, public sector, and non-profit, including directing HR for the Burger King Corporation, local government, school division, health care, and workforce housing. Kimberly is currently the Chief Human Resource Officer for the City of Jacksonville, North Carolina, leading the statewide employment initiative under the Veterans Foundation NC4ME, a comprehensive public-private partnership.


Her passion for assisting military service members began as a volunteer with Virginia Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (VaESGR), as Regional Chair and later as State Director for their Employment Initiative Program (EIP). She also initiated the Virginia Values Veterans (V-3) program, an initiative to ensure employment of military service personnel statewide. Kimberly has twice been presented the Seven Seals Award for meritorious leadership and initiative in support of the Department of Defense. Kimberly serves as a member of the USO of NC Board of Directors and as a member of the Governors Working Group for Veterans and their Families.